Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee (76 Tests, 310 wickets & 221 ODIs, 380 wickets) is impressed with Karnataka fast bowler Prasidh Krishna and Delhi fast bowler Navdeep Saini.
Lee was talking about the art of fast bowling at an event in which Runwal Group announced its tie up with Cricket Australia for a cricket education programme.
A class act
“It’s my dream to find the next Indian fast bowler through this programme. I am impressed with the current Indian fast bowlers. Jasprit Bumrah to me has been a class act.
“He has got good pace and different action. Prasidh, he has been bowling at 145k or thereabouts in this IPL. Then Saini is another promising fast bowler coming through.
“The pleasing thing about the current Indian fast bowlers is that they have got good pace. Prasidh and Saini have nice actions. I do believe that these bowlers can go some more quicker by finetuning their approach, their action and follow through. Our aim, through the programme here, is to take a young fast bowler with a nice action, hone his skills and make him a faster bowler.”
Lee also revealed that media commentators have been saying that 130k is good pace.
“But we all now know that 130k or 135k is not good pace. I would say its slow or medium-pace.
“What is good pace is over 145k. We have seen some Indian bowlers touching that 145k-barrier.
“This should be exciting for Indian cricket and the fast bowlers should do well in England.
“If you can bowl at 135k doing it both ways, you are a different style of bowler. I am talking about pure fast bowling. Myself, Shoaib Akhtar, Shaun Tait and Allan Donald were express bowlers.”
The former Australian speedster also said that to train a fast bowler at the age of 15 or 16, the first thing he would do is to make him run. “I will teach him to be a sprinter first. You have to be a good sprinter.
“When you look at the fast bowlers who bowl at 160k, they have all been good athletes, good sprinters; that’s what I did throughout my career. Sprinting actually allows you to get the momentum to the crease.”
Touching in detail to improve the fast bowlers’ lot in India, he said: “I would urge the ground-staff to prepare wickets that are a bit more conducive to fast-bowling. I want to see the wickets with a little-bit more in it (for the pacers)… keep ‘thoda thoda grass’ (little little grass) to make the bowlers smart and give them more opportunities to bowl fast. So one needs to create the incentive.
“If India wants to keep creating good fast-bowlers, then they need to make sure the wickets compensate them. In Mohali, the ball normally gets through. I think the wicket here (in Mumbai) is good now. I reckon the wickets are getting better. If you had asked me this three years ago, the wickets were shocking, but now the wickets are giving a little more to the bowlers. I am not saying I want a green-top, but there should be something for the (fast) bowlers to make it an even contest.”